There are many facets to engineering and product org designs, and a full discussion could easily fill a book.

One thing that is certain though, is that there is no such thing as a perfect org structure. Whatever is chosen is a compromise with a set of tradeoffs. And being crisp and explicit about what tradeoffs you are making is probably the single best thing you can do.

Probably the most common tradeoff in org design I see for startups that are starting to scale relates to the types of mission/scope you give to engineering groups/teams.

Broadly speaking the two…


Matt Eccleston formerly served as VP of Engineering and Growth at Dropbox, and from 2013–2019 helped the company scale from hundreds to thousands of employees. Prior to that, Matt spent 13 years in various Engineering leadership positions at VMware, helping it scale from tens to tens of thousands. Matt now advises late stage startups as part of ICONIQ Growth’s Technical Advisory Board. Balancing and budgeting engineering resourcing as a company scales is one of the most frequent topics that comes up.

As an engineering organization grows, different types of questions and challenges start to emerge around the investments in time…

Matt Eccleston

Former VP of Engineering and Growth at Dropbox. 13 year veteran at VMware. Currently late stage startup advisor with ICONIQ Growth.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store